University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
Recommended by:
Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE

The Human Genome Project

Use of human genetic information

Because governments and charities funded the HGP, part of the conditions was that the information was to be made freely available to everyone.


What are the pros and cons of this freedom of human genetic information?

The HGP revealed a lot of information about genetically caused disease and the predisposition to disease. Because of this, the genetic information has significant commercial value. Specific new treatments can be developed, and this could mean big profits for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. This has lead to the possibility of patenting human genes. Knowledge that someone might be genetically predisposed to a life-threatening illness might make him or her the subject of discrimination, for example in employment or by insurance companies.

 Genetic diagnosis

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